That's according to Niall Lucy in his latest book, PoMo Oz. Pitting his humour and intellect against the conservative power brokers, Lucy champions the notion that free thought, not free trade, is the basis of democracy.
Letter-position tolerance varies across languages. This observation suggests that the neural code for letter strings may also be subtly different. Although language-specific models remain useful, we should endeavor to develop a universal model of reading acquisition which incorporates crucial neurobiological constraints. Such a model, through a progressive internalization of phonological and lexical regularities, could perhaps converge onto the language-specific properties outlined by Frost.
Interest in the notion of the possible financial sacrifice suffered by socially responsible investment (SRI) fund investors for considering ethical, social and environmental issues in their investment decisions has spawned considerable academic interest in the performance of SRI funds. Both the Australian and international research literature have yielded largely mixed results. However, several of these studies are hampered by methodological problems which can obscure the significance of reported results, such as the use of small sample sizes, inconsistencies in the time (...) frames selected to analyse performance and different modelling frameworks used to estimate investment returns. This study attempts to redress some of these issues by investigating the returns performance of 89 ethical funds in Australia over the period 1986–2005. Using a multi-factor CAPM model [Fama, E. F., and K. R. French (1996) J. Finance 51(1), 55] (which controls for factors such as size, book-to-market value and momentum) we find that ethical funds significantly under-perform the market in Australia, particularly in the most recent 5 years of our sample period (2000–2005). Risk adjusted returns (using Jensen’s alpha) indicate that average annual underperformance is around 1.52% in the 2000–2005 period for our sample and .88% over the whole sample period. Our results contrast with many previous studies (both Australian and international), which have not found statistically significant differences in the performance of ethical funds relative to market benchmarks and/or a matched sample of conventional funds. (shrink)
There is a growing body of literature on ethical or socially responsible investment across a range of disciplines. This paper highlights the key themes in the field and identifies some of the major theoretical and practical challenges facing both scholars and practitioners. One of these challenges is understanding better the complexity of the relationship between such investment practices and corporate behaviour. Noting that ethical investment is seldom characterised by agreement about what it actully constitutes, and that much of the extant (...) research focuses on a narrow set of issues, the paper argues that there are benefits associated with examining ethical investment as a process. (shrink)
The term “moral heuristic” as used by Sunstein seeks to bring together various traditions. However, there are significant differences between uses of the term “heuristic” in the cognitive and the social psychological research, and these differences are accompanied by very distinct evidential criteria. We suggest the term “moral heuristic” should refer to processes, which means that further evidence is required.
Observing that René Descartes's dualistic philosophy haunts our conceptualization of matter, this essay argues that Thomas Hobbes develops a non-Cartesian materialism, which is to say that he articulates a materialism in which matter is not construed as essentially unthinking. Tracing his accounts of sense, perception, and thinking, this essay reconstructs Hobbes's account of self-consciousness and proposes that in a subject conceived as wholly embodied, self-knowledge or self-awareness takes the form of memory. The essay elaborates how Hobbes 's account of self-consciousness (...) as memory transforms our understanding both of the form taken by the subject's self-mastery and of the relationship between the individual and the collective. It concludes by speculating about the implications of this account for our understanding of Hobbes's theories of ethics and politics. (shrink)
The two-component spinor theory of van der Waerden is put into a convenient matrix notation. The mathematical relations among various types of matrices and the rule for forming covariant expressions are developed. Relativistic equations of classical mechanics and electricity and magnetism are expressed in this notation. In this formulation the distinction between time and space coordinates in the four-dimensional space-time continuum falls out naturally from the assumption that a four-vector is represented by a Hermitian matrix. The indefinite metric of tensor (...) analysis is a derived result rather than an arbitrary ad hoc assumption. The relation to four-component spinor theory is also discussed. (shrink)
This is the first book that attempts to analyze and define the metholodology and values of contemporary accounts of adjudication, which can be divided into orthodox philosophies on the one hand and heretical accounts on the other. The author offers an incisive and original analysis of how these supposedly incompatible accounts actually differ.
The mineral resources sector is critical to Australia''s economic and social well-being. Minerals and energy have a value of $30 billion in export revenues, providing 50 percent of Australia''s merchandise exports. The industry is characterized by substantial capital investment and very long lead times for project developments and a very competitive international market. The future direction and location of the industry is inextricably linked to long term exploration activities. The industry is faced with a far more complex set of environments (...) than most. The paper identifies the range of complex issues and the wide variety of players using a stakeholder analysis. By monitoring such interactions, and knowing the objective set of the parties, a guide could be established to define moral and ethical frameworks for each interaction. (shrink)
The way we understand language diversity, how languages differ in representing reality, affects our approach to understanding linguistic relativity, how that diversity affects thought. Historically, researchers divided over whether the diverse representations of reality across languages were natural or conventional, but all tacitly assumed an optimal fit between language and reality. Twenrieth century anthropological linguists interested in linguisric relativity have questioned this assumption and sought to characterize “reality” without it by using domain- or structure-centered approaches. Arguments are presented favoring structure-centered (...) approaches, along with a case illustration. A concluding discussion emphasizes the broader significance of language diversity in human development. (shrink)
The matrix notation of paper I is extended to include first-rank spinors expressed as two-component spin-vectors. Well-known two-component and four-component spinor equations are expressed in this notation. In addition, it is shown how other covariant wave equations can easily be invented. A certain nonlinear equation is found to have only positive-energy solutions for particles and antiparticles.
Advances in the neurosciences have many implications for a collective understanding of what it means to be human, in particular, notions of the self, the concept of volition or agency, questions of individual responsibility, and the phenomenology of consciousness. As the ability to peer directly into the brain is scientifically honed, and conscious states can be correlated with patterns of neural processing, an easy—but premature—leap is to postulate a one-way, brain-based determinism. That leap is problematic, however, and emerging findings in (...) neuroscience can even be seen as compatible with some of the basic tenets of existentialism. Given the compelling authority of modern “science,” it is especially important to question how the findings of neuroscience are framed, and how the articulation of research results challenge or change individuals’ perceptions of themselves. Context plays an essential role in the emergence of human identity and in the sculpting of the human brain; for example, even a lack of stimuli (“nothing”) can lead to substantial consequences for brain, behavior, and experience. Conversely, advances in understanding the brain might contribute to more precise definitions of what it means to be human, including definitions of appropriate social and moral behavior. Put another way, the issue is not simply the ethics involved in framing neurotechnology, but also the incorporation of neuroscientific findings into a richer understanding of human ethical (and existential) functioning. (shrink)
Polygyny does not necessarily entail sexual selection of men. All factors that affect the operational sex ratio must be considered. Data from contemporary hunter-gatherers indicate higher mortality rates in men than in women, and lost female reproductive time. If sexual selection did occur in ancestral hunter-gatherers, it was probably men selecting women and not women selecting men.
How are we to understand Cato the Younger? To be sure, this question implies that there is something important we can learn by studying the life of Cato the Younger, that we can garner fundamental political insights by understanding his actions and thoughts. Although this essay will be a modest attempt to articulate some of these insights by presenting a paradigm with which Cato's life can be understood, the very fact that Cato commands the attention of a diverse number of (...) diplomats, philosophers and poets should make us as political scientists and historians at least somewhat interested in his life as a whole. (shrink)
This article compares Michel Foucault’s way of thinking about sovereignty and law within biopower to the reading given to Foucault’s work and its development by the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. It is argued that Agamben supports the expulsion thesis in order to generate critical distance for his own re-imagining of biopower. The expulsion thesis is a controversial account of the position of law in Foucault’s work that does not reflect Foucault’s own nuanced views. A post-structuralist account of Foucault and law (...) is then used to show that Agamben’s conception of law is actually much more similar to Foucault’s than Agamben at first claimed. The real thrust of Agamben’s work is found in his connecting political philosophy to ontology. Agamben’s claim that the questioning of law is a fundamental ontological issue calls into question the very concept of subjectivity. This leads Agamben to embark upon a radical reconceptualization of sovereignty in relation to the subject and the law. Despite opening new areas of inquiry in relation to Being and law, Agamben’s attempt to move beyond Foucault’s work is called into question, with particular emphasis upon whether Agamben’s work is truly ontological. (shrink)
I have argued that orthographic processing cannot be understood and modeled without considering the manner in which orthographic structure represents phonological, semantic, and morphological information in a given writing system. A reading theory, therefore, must be a theory of the interaction of the reader with his/her linguistic environment. This outlines a novel approach to studying and modeling visual word recognition, an approach that focuses on the common cognitive principles involved in processing printed words across different writing systems. These claims were (...) challenged by several commentaries that contested the merits of my general theoretical agenda, the relevance of the evolution of writing systems, and the plausibility of finding commonalities in reading across orthographies. Other commentaries extended the scope of the debate by bringing into the discussion additional perspectives. My response addresses all these issues. By considering the constraints of neurobiology on modeling reading, developmental data, and a large scope of cross-linguistic evidence, I argue that front-end implementations of orthographic processing that do not stem from a comprehensive theory of the complex information conveyed by writing systems do not present a viable approach for understanding reading. The common principles by which writing systems have evolved to represent orthographic, phonological, and semantic information in a language reveal the critical distributional characteristics of orthographic structure that govern reading behavior. Models of reading should thus be learning models, primarily constrained by cross-linguistic developmental evidence that describes how the statistical properties of writing systems shape the characteristics of orthographic processing. When this approach is adopted, a universal model of reading is possible. (shrink)